Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Thank goodness for simple things...

I have definitely caught a case of the blahs here lately. I think it stems mostly from being on the go during a long weekend, combined with trying to get back into a disciplined school mode, and new cozy flannel pajama pants from Bob's grandma that are just too comfy to want to change out of. Anyway, in times when I do not feel like cooking I am very thankful for frozen homemade soups and chilis, for leftover millet, and for simple meals of beans and rice.

I did recently re-vamp a recipe that I tried a while back, based on something I originally saw Kate do. The first time I made these black bean patties, they were delicious, but very crumbly. I was a novice at vegan cooking then, and had not really learned how to bind things together. This time, I used some quick oats to bind the patties, and I used flax meal plus water as an egg substitute. The combination of these things did the trick; this time the patties held together great, even on the grill.

Here is my re-vamped recipe:

1 cup cooked black beans
1/2 cup diced veggies (I used a mix of green bell pepper and red onion)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt to taste (I used plenty)
Several dashes liquid smoke
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3-1/2 cup quick oats
1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water

Pulse the sunflower seeds, the garlic, and the spices together in a food processor until crumbly. Put everything in a bowl and mix well with your hands. Form into 4 patties and let them refrigerate about 20 minutes (this step helps hold them together too). Grill for about 7-8 minutes on each side. And serve!

If you're Bob, you enjoy yours on a whole wheat bun. If you're me, you opt for an open-faced sandwich with just a thin slice of homemade bread on the bottom. Either way, plenty of spinach and sprouts and some dijon mustard are a must!

Slivered potatoes stir-fried with some veggies is one of Bob's favorite treats in the world. We made these for his family over the weekend, and they include garlic, spinach, and broccoli. Another variation, which he made today, included mushrooms and green peppers.

There will be more cooking soon, I assure you--I have got to motivate myself to do it. In the meantime, I will enjoy your blogs and your wonderful food, and maybe draw some inspiration that way!



springsandwells said...

Hi Laura,
I recently emerged from a long case of the blahs. Even though you've got the blahs, I love these two dishes you shared. I think I'll try the black bean burgers... yum yum. Also, I think Musty would LOVE the potato & veggie stir fry... I gotta remember to cook him potatoes more often.

Dori said...

The black bean burger and sprouts looks really appealing. I am an open faced sandwich kinda person to. I agree that the potato and broccoli could make it into a meal here too.

Melissa West said...

Thanks for the recipe Laura. I have been craving a veggie burger. Now I know how I can satisfy my craving!

Mikaela said...

Do you do anything to the potatoes before you stir fry them? Or just slice 'em up and add with the other ingredients? :)

Webly said...

Open faced sandwiches, that's not something I hear about often.
Did you grow up eating them that way? Is it a regional thing?

laura jesser said...

Hi Mikaela! Yep, you got it--just slice up the potatoes and throw them in! I usually sauté the garlic and onion first and then add anything else, as it seems to infuse the oil with a nice flavor that way.

Webly, I actually don't hear too much about open-faced sandwiches either! I just like it that way because having too much bread on the sandwich kind of hides the flavors of everything else sometimes. Most of my friends/family would probably think something very strange had gotten into me if I ate it open-faced in front of them! :)

aTxVegn said...

I love black bean burgers and they are so quick and easy to prepare, just the thing you needed to get you back in the groove of cooking! They look beautiful. I like mine open face style too.

I don't eat potatoes that often, but I need to remember to throw some in every now and then. I love your American style stirfry!

bazu said...

I totally hear you on the blahs. I've been like that a little bit too lately. Oooh, and a cozy pair of flannel pajamas sounds good right about now!
Thanks for sharing the black bean recipe-I want to collect as many bean patty recipes as humanly possible. I love your open face sandwich, too.

Kati said...

I totally know how you feel about not wanting to cook anything. Yours meals look delicious, though - very colorful! I definitely want to try those bean burgers, and it may seem funny, but I never really thought of mixing potatoes in a stir-fry with other veggies. Thanks!

maybepigscanfly said...

Your burgers look delish! Isn't it amazing what just a little bit of experience in the kitchen teaches you? Just think how much more confident it makes you, when attempting new things. As always I love reading your posts.


Caty said...

The black bean burgers look yummy! Thanks for posting the recipe.

Kris said...

I think it's just that blah part of winter. I am BLAH in a big way right now.

Jim and I have loads of frozen stuff that I should be going through to make space.

Potatoes in a stirfry? That's interesting, I may have to give that a try sometime. I'm also glad to read your binding tips for the veggie burgers, they look awesome.

Vicki said...

simple things really are the best. but i don't think it's so simple to make a homemade patty that sticks together even on a grill. thanks so much for sharing your recipe & that may give me the courage to try again! i always enjoy your posts, laura!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Love those potatoes - we eat a lot of potatoes and I've never thought of adding veggies (other than onions and peppers). Thanks for the tip!

Urban Vegan said...

I had a veggie burger out at a restaurant last night, but for some reason, it's not something I often make at home. Your recipe makes me think I should give it a try.

Candi said...

I've never made my own veggie patties. :( (aside from the Moroccan chickpea ones.) Yours look great and even held together? WOW! :)

Sorry about the blahs. I get it lots too, and it's tough to get back on track. I do what you do - blog hop for inspiration and ideas. When you feel up to it, and you take those pajamas off... you'll have lots of new food ideas in your mind to help you snap out of the blahs completely! :)

Harmonia said...

Round of applause! Everything looks dandy! :)

Happy Weekend!